I admit it; I have internet friends. And for a girl who totally missed the boat on internet-dating, making friends via social media (Instagram typically), adds just the right amount of awkward and awesome to my life.
So what exactly is Internet Friending you ask? It’s exactly what it sounds like; plutonic internet dating, (minus the high anxiety and sexting.) Internet friending must happen organically, otherwise it is not internet friending; it’s more like stalking. And you don’t want to be a stalker, right? Right. Making friends via social media is kind of a natural progression, especially if you are a blogger, shop owner or any sort of entrepreneur.
I don’t claim to be an expert on internet friending, because I am relatively new to the whole thing, but there are some common etiquettes I have managed to pick up along the way. I have compiled a do’s and don’ts list, just in case you find yourself in a fledgling internet friendship.
Do like and comment on potential internet friends posts.
Don’t blow up their feed (specially if it is not reciprocated–that is a social cue, people).
Do post shout-outs for brands and bloggers that you like.
Don’t post shout-outs with the sole intention to get one in return.
Do get inspired by internet friends.
Don’t mimic or copycat their ideas (especially without giving credit where it is due.)
Do send a DM (direct message) if you have something to say or ask an internet friend.
Don’t send a spammy / mass DM. Especially without introducing yourself first.
Do comment back when someone comments on your posts.
Don’t be a creeper by adding or following all of someone else’s friends (and especially family.) That’s just weird.
Do cross-interact with other people’s comments on posts.
Don’t harass or stalk someone else’s followers.
Do have fun, be sarcastic and crack jokes.
Don’t take things too seriously or personally.
Do be authentic. There is only one you, and you are R A D.
Don’t try to be anyone else.
Do engage in collaborations.
Don’t flood the feed with pushy, in-your-face sales pitches. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Do allow friendships to develop.
Don’t worry if they don’t right away.
Do remember that you are awesome and have nothing to prove.
Do be positive and helpful to others.
Don’t treat social media like a competition.
Do remember (especially you bloggers and business owners), that everyone had to start somewhere. Real friendships take time, and develop on a foundation of mutual respect, reciprocation and authenticity; even internet friendships.
I’d love to hear about how you became friends with someone through social media or the internet. Share your experience with Internet Friending in the comments below.